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Motivational film for International Silver salespeople describing how installment buying has made silver tableware available to a broad range of consumers.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor: International Silver Company
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Consumerism; Marriage; Sales: Training
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Try To Sell Something Impractical and Unnecessary
Less then 7 years out of the dreary days of the depression the drive is on to sell sell sell - this time, sterling silver - even though one place setting costs over one half of a weeks pay for the typical (still often laid off) worker bee. But those womens' hats and through-the-roof wedding gowns du jour showed what drama queens they were and so what's a better thing to hawk to them then perenially corny, understood-by-few used-by-even-fewer; sterling silver tableware. And OH! Even peasants can afford it, right now - on time, of course, where they actually deduct it from your paycheck! How convenient - for them.
My parents apparently bought theirs about this time (and I bet "on time") and it was never seen again (or for the first time by me) until late in the 1960's when this mysterious wooden box was pulled out from beneath old draperies and bags of old clothes which sat for years and years on the attic floor. Taken downstairs, admired for a few weeks, polished (what a chore!) and used no more then once; then given to moms godchild as a wedding present, which the godchild sold piece by piece for fixes to support her habit. By 1977 the whole set was gone and godchild used other things to earn money for a fix.
We lived perfectly well both before, and after knowing it was even there - for decades, in fact!
Couldn't sell a set of sterling any more likely then an encyclopedia, so they invented stainless steel applicances to satisfy that "Bowerbird" instinct that makes shiny things so irresistable to humans.
OK film so typical of its genre and the best scene is the woman's cah-ray-zee! feather spike hat in the store scene.
Subject: Film made for salesman of International Sterling SIlver
Of course with World War II, this whole concept of selling sterling silver using the installment plan fell apart. The film itself, repeats the same information over and over again. The entire production (Probably made in 1940 and released in 1941) is stilted, even using the refined voice of actor Conrad Nagel and color.
Paul M. -
Subject: Not sure I agree with the others.
This film is about designer clothing, $1,000 + ugly purses,spinning rims. It may have its early roots on Sterling street but that is about it. This is just my simple view as I"m often wrong but that is fine.
The International Silver Co. wanted everyone to know that sterling silver wasn't just for successful---almost any schmuck can afford it through the magic of installment credit! You see, the industry was plodding along selling to the rich and ignoring everybody else until 1938 when International hit upon an ingenious way to market their wares. You won't believe it: ADVERTISING!!!! On CBS and in Life Magazine and lots of other magazines too! With a collective palm to the forehead, the rest of the industry said, "Why didn't we think of that!?"
The couple getting married at the beginning of the film look odd---he is obviously uncomfortable; she looks like the cat that ate the canary. At first I thought she might have gotten herself pregnant so he'd marry her. By the end, however, I became convinced that he was contemplating the cost of the silver set she's pressuring him to buy, while she was thinking that in the coming divorce she's damn well getting the sterling! Alas, a few months after this film was made, he'd be off to the army and she to a war plant. As for silver---unavailable for the duration! Them's the breaks!
Subject: Sad in retrospect.
This film goes on and on about how the silver industry has been expanding their consumer base and talking like every home in America will soon have their own big old boxes of silverware. 1941 is touted as the next big year. You just have to wince at them not knowing what's just around the corner. It's even worse than that, since Wikipedia says the entire silver market went on a downward slide after the war due to raising labor costs and changing fashion. So this entire film promoting the future of silverware was made at the peak before the decline. That's just sad.
And to me, the whole thing seems pretty silly. You just know that stuff will rarely be used and probably end up being pawned by their kids. Personally, I'm quite happy with our no-need-to-polish stainless steel flatware, thank you very much.
Subject: Sterling Silver has never been so cheap!
This is an epic of unbelievable proportions.. I am agog as to what to say. I will try though.
This is probably the cheapest looking Jam Handy short film I have ever laid my eyes on. Let's start at the very beginning!
From the start, we see some very badly lit cards, poorly chosen music etc etc. A couple get married, then a husband gives his wife a dimaond ring that clearly is 2 sizes too many.
The film then focuses on the history of people buying silver (using cheap cards again) and a VERY badly done set, with actors in cheap costumes.. Is this supposed to represent 1920?? The wife wants silver badly, but it's too expensive! Soon after, the Silver Theater comes on the air, sponsored by International Theater ("You're On The Air!" a emcee whispers.. We also see an "On The Air" sign in case we MISSED it. Flash forward to 1940, now we can finance our silver purchases, and every Tom Dick And Harry can have a heavy Silver dispay look totally out of place in their cheap badly mortgaged apartment! Joy!
Once again, badly edited, laughable cue cards. and just amazing cheapness. It's a shocker to see the Jam Handy moniker on this. Nevertheless, it's a MUST SEE on this site!